When the global pandemic was in full swing last year, most people had to work from home, leading to fewer vehicles on the roads emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) into the environment. Now that cars are plying the roads again, what can we do to reduce the pollution they generate?
Do you know that the amount of fuel your car consumes depends on how you drive? If you have a habit of speeding, it can adversely affect your car’s fuel efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, speeding increases fuel consumption and decreases fuel economy. This is a result of excessive tyre rolling and air resistance during speeding. CO2 emissions are directly linked to fuel consumption, and our cars are in danger of emitting harmful CO2 to the environment each time we speed. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport industry are a major contributor of global warming and air pollution, and CO2 emissions from passenger cars worldwide represent the single largest source of emissions from that sector.
Most modern vehicles rely heavily on fuel, and the average passenger vehicle creates roughly six to nine tons of CO2 each year. Multiply that by the number of cars on the roads and you have some idea why Mother Earth is suffering. There are efforts made to improve car engine technology to make them cleaner to run, and electric vehicles (EV) are now at the forefront of that pursuit. However, EV uptake is still in its infancy around the globe, so governments are looking at measures that can lead to more immediate results.
For example, Singapore has introduced a few attractive tax incentives in a bid to narrow the cost difference to ICE cars and increase EV uptake. The previous Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) has been enhanced, with an increase of $5,000 on top of the original $20,000 rebate for low-emission cars. This scheme runs until the end of 2022. In addition, the EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) will see EV owners enjoy a rebate of 45% discount, capped at $20,000, on the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) if they register their EVs before 31 December 2023.
The idea of applying speed limits to curb speeding is nothing new — many nations have implemented it to reduce auto accidents and boost safety on their roads. But doing so has an added benefit to the environment. According to some researchers, when we drive at speeds lower than 80km/h, transportation-related CO2 emissions would be reduced by about 30%. It may not be the exact case for every country and driving environment, but it gives a good guideline on what can be achieved in terms of reducing emissions via reducing vehicle speed.
In the Netherlands, the daytime speed limit used to be 130km/h, but this has been cut to 100km/h in a bid to tackle rising pollution problems. The emission problem there has been so bad that it has affected their infrastructure building plans as thousands of projects are on the line and can only go ahead if emission levels are put in line with EU emission laws. With this reduced motorway speed limit, the Netherlands will be on par with Cyprus, which has far fewer motorways.
While the maximum speed you travel at does play a part in emissions, it should be noted that how often and how much you speed up and slow down will also lead to higher emissions. Being a smart eco-driver is about being responsible to the environment through improved driving habits, so play your part!
As the leading motoring association in Singapore, AA Singapore is committed to saving the environment through better driving techniques. Participants — both AA Singapore members and non-members — of our Eco-Driving Workshop can get to learn how to be an effective eco-driver.
Topics covered in the workshop include:
- Effects/impacts of speeding and myths of speed
- Benefits of eco-driving
- Eco-driving techniques
- Maximising fuel economy
- How vehicle maintenance affects fuel economy
AA Singapore members enjoy a discounted rate when they sign up for this course. Check here for the next available session and sign up today!